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Bishop Whittingham defends Arthur Carey, who is Whittingham's personal friend. He asserts that there is no Romanist threat to the Episcopal Church, and that the ordination of Mr Carey is actually a good thing.




Arthur Carey, religion, Catholicism, Dr. Smith, Dr. Anthon, Romanism, Providence



August 22d ‘43

Right Reverend and Dear Father

You ask, in your letter of July 31st, which I have just received, whether I am “satisfied with the Ordination of Arthur Carey to the Diaconate of the Church as [?] to us by the Churchman” and the “Statement of Facts drawn up by Drs Smith and Anthon of New York”?

In the first [place], I would with great [?] suggest that this matter has not come before us in a shape to authorize an official opinion.

I suppose that if Drs Smith and Anthon [had] had any regard to the due course of Ecclesiastical procedure, their proper step, after the termination of the extra examination unsatisfactorily to them, would have been to wait until their bishop should have taken his [?], then, he having gone on to ordain, to have promoted a change of undue exercise of the ordaining power against him, to any [three] of his fellow bishops, in order to his presentment by them to you, for trial [on] the charge; then, before the bishops to whom he should have been thus accused, the matter would have come officially; and in case three could have been [found] to present him, it would have come before you also officially.

As it is, I humbly conceive that any opinion I may express, must be the unofficial opinion of an individual, irregularly and imperfectly informed in the matter.

I have read the “Statement” of Dr S and A and corresponded on the subject with one of the writers. I have also read the articles on the subject in the Churchman and other religious papers, and most of those that have appeared in the New York secular papers; together with the Letters of the [Rev] Messrs Haight and Higbee. I have had the additional advantage of Knowing Mr Carey intimately for four years past, of having seen [some] of his correspondence with one [of] his most intimate friends during the past year, and of having had a personal interview with him since his ordination.

Under these circumstances, I have formed (as an individual - and now express unofficially) the opinion - 1) that the Rev Mr Carey is liable to no just charge or suspicion of Romanism or other heretical opinions, but is a well informed faithful and intelligent adherent to the fai[th] and discipline of the Catholic Church as professed [?] practised in the churches of England and America and set forth in the Liturgy, Catechism, Articles, Constitution and Canons; 2) that he Bishop of New york was not only justifiable in ordaining Mr Carey, but acted with commendable impartial[ity] firmness and discretion, throughout the whole affair; 3) that in the process of the affair Drs Smith and Anthon displayed much ignorance rashness, prejudice, and insubordination; and [4)] that subsequently to the ordination they [had] been guilty of most blameworthy departure from the regular course of ecclesiastical proced[ure] and have laid themselves open to presentment as wilful and malicious calumniators.

This opinion I hold liable to correction by fuller information, properly brought before me, and not as a ground of any official action.

Let me beg you, dear Father in the Church not to be made uneasy by this outbreak. It [?] no evil, but rather great good, to our holy cause. Mr Carey is in as little danger of Rome, as I am of Geneva, and his accusers know it. The hubbub that has been excited, is already subsiding, and a react[ion] [?] and powerful, is beginning to take place. Those [in] whose judgment I put most confidence, agree in [?] opinion that a great extension and strengthening of the Church is the probable result. Even those who were at first alarmed, have recovered from their alarm and many who at the outset took ground against Mr Carey and his ordination, have found cause in the more [recent] publications on the subject, for a change of views.

I was enabled to perform the duty you assigned to me at Providence after my indifferent fashion. The [assemblage] of clergy was large; the tone of feeling delightful. [No] apprehension clouded our joy. Our new brother’s [course] began in cheerful [?]. Faithfully and affectionately your unworthy son in Christ

W R Whittingham

Letter to Philander Chase



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